I often wonder about the various countries and people groups who live in the Middle East and think: “What’s their deal anyway?” “Why can’t these people find a way to get along with each other?” “How long are they going to keep this up and continue killing each other and destroying their lands?”
Then I look at the Church. Not any particular local congregation, but the universal Church on earth. I believe it is fair to say that nothing on our planet is more conflicted, confusing, and combative; more divided, dissonant, and denominated than the Church.
What happened? Why is the Church like this? How did so many different synods, sects, classis’, cults, bodies, branches, orders, and movements come about and muddy up the simple GOOD NEWS message?
For Jesus said:
I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind – just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are – I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me. John 17:20-23 (The Message)
My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (NIV)
The GOOD NEWS message is clear… JESUS died on the cross and rose from the dead.
The GOOD NEWS message is compelling… Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and you will be saved!
The GOOD NEWS message is complete… JESUS SAVES!
So how did the Church ever get so separated over JESUS?
So why hasn’t the Church listened to JESUS and become one in heart and mind?
So what is the Church going to do about it now?
This godless world is waiting for its witness.